Directed by Andrew Walton
USA 2006

 

In the tiny village of Old Crow, 80 miles north of the Arctic Circle, a father and his son are reunited after almost 25 years apart. They share a name and a bloodline, but the worlds they know and the lifestyles they lead are as different as their respective hometown climates. Stanley Njootli Sr. is a hunter, a man of the land steeped in Native traditions. Stanley Jr., who has been raised by his mother in Washington State, immerses himself in hip-hop music and video games, and is drifting deeper into drugs and alcohol. After a lifetime apart, the two meet again in the raw, quiet beauty of the Canadian Yukon.

In Old Crow, there are no strip malls, restaurants, bars, movie theaters or even roads in or out. What Old Crow does have plenty of is natural beauty, isolation and a punishing climate. As Stan Sr. says, "There are two kinds of people in Old Crow, those who want to be here and those who can't afford to live anywhere else." He is one of the former. After youthful experiences with urban modernity "down south," which included his own bouts with alcohol and drugs, he returned to Old Crow. This tiny village, population 250, would enable him to live the traditional fishing and hunting life of his First Nations' Gwitchin people, the "good life" he had known as a child. Now he's hoping to instill these same traditions in his adult son to help give him a new direction and repair the distant relationship that has existed between the two for so many years.

Excerpt from Arctic Son website located HERE

Theatrical Release: April 2006

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DVD Review: DocuRama - Region 0 - NTSC

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Distribution DocuRama - Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 1:14:39 
Video 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.76 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s  

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: DocuRama

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• Interview with director Andrew Walton - 10 minutes
• Family-friendly audio track 74 minutes
• Additional Scenes - 17 minutes
• Artwork gallery
• Filmmakers Bio

DVD Release Date: September 23rd, 200
8
Keep Case
Chapters: 12

 

Comments:

Despite the vérité impact of the film - this DocuRama Films DVD leaves a lot to be desired.  It is both non-anamorphic and interlaced - a potent black mark combination especially when it was mastered to a dual-layered disc. DVD production funds (which weren't a lot I suppose) could have been allocated better. Perhaps there are reasons that I am unaware of for the pragmatic rendering, but for the consumer the image is on the weak side. Acceptable for CRT viewing but some of the weakness may hinder a widescreen TV presentation for discerning viewers.

There are no optional subtitles... but for certain dialogue (especially from other rooms or difficult to hear) there are imposed subtitles in a yellow font (see below). I didn't find the 2.0 channel audio poor - it was clear enough - especially the narration parts, but they offer a second track - omitting the profanity (bleeping over it). This is called the family-friendly version. I should note that the profanity is blanked out if it crosses with the subtitles.

Supplements include a 10 minute interview with director Andrew Walton , 5 additional scenes - 17 minutes worth, and an artwork gallery.

I liked the film, despite the lackluster digital presentation. It was highly interesting discovering such an alternate lifestyles in our modern world. It is modestly paced but I was never totally bored. Anyway, this DVD seems like probably the only way you are going to see this now that it has left the festival circuit. For what they are offering digitally, the price is steep but for many the film viewing may be worth it.    

Gary W. Tooze

 



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Distribution DocuRama - Region 0 - NTSC




 

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